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The Rangers continued their wildly inconsistent and maddening play tonight while successfully blowing a 2 goal lead in a manner of seconds. And for those of you who want to take solace in the fact that Gaborik, Dubinsky, Prospal, etc didn’t play, please remember that Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen, Lidstrom, and Rafalski all did not suit up tonight…we were basically playing the Detroit farm team and lost it with 1 periods worth of horrendous play.

To be fair Henrik Lundqvist probably doesn’t lose this game, but I really don’t want to fall back on that old crutch. Maloney said it best tonight, if the Rangers want to take that next step, Henrik can not be the main story night in and night out.

The thing we always seem to fail at as a team is playing for 60 minutes. Why this team can not get it through their head is beyond me. Particularly the veterans, they are supposed to lead the way, and yet it always seems like it is the kids who are stepping up, while the vets step aside. The Rangers most dominating players tonight were Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle, whereas Drury, Redden, and Rozsival were miserable, just miserable out there. Granted, this is just the preseason, but this is nothing new for this team. 2 of those 3 have been quite awful as Rangers, and Rozsival has certainly declined since the loss of Jagr. If Redden and Rozsival play like this throughout the season, I think this team may just miss the playoffs. You can’t have 11 million dollars worth of pylons out there, it just can’t happen. They need to play a hell of a lot better than that, and I sure as hell hope Torts is giving them an earful after tonights showing.

On the plus side though, we got to see what Artem Anisimov can bring to the ice. I was tired of hearing so many people call him the next Jarkko Immonen just because he isn’t Pavel Bure out there with his skating. Anisimov showed his talent today all over the ice. He plays a superb defensive game, and he most definitely has the offensive instincts to be a dominating 3rd line center at this level. To be totally honest here, I wonder if keeping this trio of Lisin, Anisimov and Grachev together for the season would be an idea worth sticking with. They seem to be getting better with every game, and if they are looked at as your 3rd line, you can probably expect some good matchups and some good offensive numbers. Of course that is predicated on Brandon Dubinsky not coming back, which I hope does not happen.

The other standout tonight was Brian Boyle, who showed some great cycling, some great balance, and some solid defensive zone play. I really loved what I saw from the trio of Brashear, Voros and Boyle. That looks to be a 4th line I most definitely can live with if they play like that night in and night out.

Tomorrow should be really interesting. I hope Torts puts a better defensive lineup out there. Tonights roster of defenseman left a lot to be desired. It’s ridiculous how important Marc Staal is for this team.


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